The chief of staff of the Army, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., visited a Persian Farsi classroom, observed a technology demonstration, and interacted with key leaders at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center May 13 at the Presidio of Monterey.
Casey, a strong advocate of basic language skills and culture predeployment training, had the opportunity to speak with students taking the 47-week long Persian Farsi course.
"I'm impressed with this program and how much you have learned," said Casey, to Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy students who spoke about various aspects of their experience studying the Persian Farsi language and culture. At the conclusion of the visit each student received a Commander's Coin of Excellence from Casey.
At a technology demonstration prepared for the Chief of Staff, DLIFLC key leaders presented a new language program which Casey approved as mandatory predeployment training for Soldiers. "This is great," he said about the program. "We need to make language expected rather than forced," he commented, speaking about the need to have culturally astute Soldiers in order to accomplish objectives.
In a DLIFLC language product presentation, Casey interacted with language learners who shared their experiences of using DLIFLC distance learning products. Language learners called in from Afghanistan to discuss the benefits of sustainment training they received from DLIFLC while on deployment.
After DLIFLC, Gen. Casey visited the Naval Postgraduate School where he addressed students, faculty and staff.
(Left to Right) The chief of staff of the Army, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., walks across the tarmac with DLIFLC Commandant Col. Danial Pick and Command Sgt. Maj. Tracey Bellotte, en route to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center May 13, 2010.
Photo by Natela Cutter, Strategic Communications